The microcomputer revolution (also known as the personal computer revolution, home computer revolution, or digital revolution) is a phrase used to describe the rapid advances of microprocessor-based computers, known as microcomputers, from esoteric hobby projects in the 1970s to a commonplace fixture of homes in industrial societies during the 1980s. Prior to 1977, the only contact most of the population had with computers was through utility bills, bank and payroll services, or computer-generated junk mail. Within a decade, computers became common consumer goods.

The advent of affordable personal computers has had lasting impact on education, business, music, social interaction, and entertainment.

Microprocessor and cost reductionEdit


The minicomputer ancestors of the modern personal computer used early integrated circuit (microchip) technology, which reduced size and cost, but they contained no microprocessor. This meant that they were still large and difficult to manufacture just like their mainframe predecessors. After the "computer-on-a-chip" was commercialized, the cost to manufacture a computer system dropped dramatically. The arithmetic, logic, and control functions that previously occupied several costly circuit boards were now available in one integrated circuit, making it possible to produce them in high volume. Concurrently, advances in the development of solid state memory eliminated the bulky, costly, and power-hungry magnetic core memory used in prior generations of computers.


Microprocessors made their 1971 introduction with the Intel 4004, developed by Busicom and Intel. In April 1972, the first microcomputer was developed, Sord Computer Corporation's SMP80/08, based on the Intel 8008 microprocessor. In May 1974, Sord introduced the SMP80/x, based on the Intel 8080, a more powerful and easier to use microprocessor.[1]

The home computer revolutionEdit

Home computers made their introduction in 1977, with the Sord M200 Smart Home Computer,[2] Apple II and Commodore PET.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, from about 1977 to 1983, it was widely predicted [3] that computers would soon revolutionize many aspects of home and family life as they had business practices in the previous decades.[4] Mothers would keep their recipe catalog in "kitchen computer" databases and turn to a medical database for help with child care, fathers would use the family's computer to manage family finances and track automobile maintenance. Children would use disk-based encyclopedias for school work and would be avid video gamers. Home automation would bring about the intelligent home of the 1980s. Using Videotex, NAPLPS or some sort of as-yet unrealized computer technology, television would gain interactivity. The personalized newspaper was a commonly predicted application. Morning coffee would be brewed automatically under computer control. The same computer would control the house lighting and temperature. Robots would take the garbage out, and be programmable to perform new tasks by the home computer. Electronics were expensive, so it was generally assumed that each home would have only one multitasking computer for the entire family to use in a timesharing arrangement, with interfaces to the various devices it was expected to control.

See alsoEdit


  3. The Computer Revolution from
  4. The computer revolution from The Eighties Club

External readingEdit

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